Plans to bury Michael Jackson at Neverland have been cancelled.

The singer's family were reportedly hoping to lay the star to rest at his beloved ranch but are now scrambling to find a new location amid fears it would be illegal to bury Michael at his former home.

California's health and safety laws prohibit the burying of bodies outside designated cemeteries. The family has been unable to obtain the residential exemption required to bury the star on private property.

A spokesman for Colony Capital, the investment company that purchased Neverland in May 2008, said: "We applied for the exemption but couldn't get it in time."

The Jackson family has released a statement confirming they have ruled out a Neverland memorial.

It read: "Contrary to previous news reports, the Jackson family is officially stating that there will be no public or private viewing at Neverland.

"Plans are underway regarding a public memorial for Michael Jackson, and we will announce those plans shortly."

Previous reports claimed Michael - who died last week after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest - would make his final journey from Los Angeles to Neverland today (02.07.09) in a white horse-drawn carriage.

It was claimed he would then be placed in a glass coffin so fans could pay their respects ahead of a burial on the grounds of the Santa Barbara ranch on Sunday (05.07.09).

Santa Barbara police had already been preparing crowd control and security plans for the memorial, and workmen have spent the past few days sprucing up the abandoned property.

Yesterday (01.07.09), a truck was seen delivering hundreds of portable toilets.

It is believed Michael's body is being held at Los Angeles' Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills, where his grandmother was buried in 1990.

Many believe Michael will be laid to rest there, alongside celebrities including Bette Davis, Lucille Ball, Liberace and David Carradine, who died in Thailand last month.

Insiders claim a public memorial will be held at the Staples Center sports arena in Los Angeles on Tuesday morning (07.07.09).

Unlike the planned Neverland ceremony, the body will not be present.

A spokesman for AEG Live, which owns the venue, said: "At this time, nothing is scheduled, nothing is planned."

Michael spent the last night of his life at the Staples Center, rehearsing for his upcoming London residency until midnight on June 24.

A private ceremony for family and close friends may also take place at Neverland after the funeral.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Gary, Indiana, where Michael was born, wants the singer's body to be buried in his home town.

No matter where the funeral is held, Michael's beloved chimpanzee Bubbles will not attend.

Instead, the animal will spend the day listening to "calming flute music" at the animal sanctuary in Wauchula, Florida, where he was moved when he became "too aggressive" to live with the star.

A Centre For Great Apes spokesman said: "It is sad for Bubbles but it is better that he stays here. We have not said anything to Bubble about Michael's death.

"There has been no invitation for him to attend the funeral. Maybe we'll mark the occasion another way."

Michael rescued Bubbles from a cancer research centre in 1985. The pair lived together for years, even dressing in matching outfits.